COMMUNITY HEALTH AFRICA TRUST

To mitigate suffering and poverty through integrated mobile health services providing education and provision of reproductive health, immunization, basic curative and education on the dangers of female genital mutilation
Apr 3, 2012

All In A Day's Work

view from the yellow 4x4
view from the yellow 4x4

Jambo.

We hope this report finds everyone well. I have been reading through some field accounts from a recent volunteer named, Geeta who has written some wonderful, accurate accounts of life on the road with the mobile clinic. The way in which this account is written illustrates just how active, but more importantly, how flexible the team is, how hard they work, and how they are out there, getting the job done. Pictures she refers to, you will see at the end of the article.

Enjoy the read, and thank you again for your generous donations.

~ The Team at CHAT

 

What an adventure – what amazing work I am seeing and participating in. I returned day before yesterday from 10 days out in the field, camping first at a campsite on a large mzungu (white) ranch, then at the district Health Office.
Here are a few images of our days with mainly the Samburu, Turkana, and Kikuyu people, A woman brings a newborn for a first check. She forms a bond with the team for family planning at the next visit.

We helped   29 women in the slums with family planning –  in a day.  These are “street girls” examining our mobilizer Violet’s implant.

We go out over bad roads and across fields.

We are setting up under trees, in the bush and by rivers.

We are using churches.

Patients waiting outside a vacant workers cottage. We used the inside.  

A Kikuyu former Coca Cola secretary, came back to the land to be a farmer.  She speaks perfect English and translated for me.

We are using the back of the truck at the district health offices where we are camping.

We used a nursery school in Samburu village.  From 8-12AM 60 2-4 year olds study in the government built school. The Samburu villagers pay the teacher.


We went to district health substations augmenting their staffing, seeing Somali and Kikuyu women, who finally said, enough.

We placed condoms in guard stations and gave to people asking for them to share with their friends and neighbors.


Peter, our driver, who knows every road and short-cut across the fields and greets many as friends, as we wait at a production farm for the workers to finish.


At the end of the day, back to camp through glorious sunsets.  Peter and Anna enjoyed my Indian cooking or I experienced their ugali (a large cornmeal cake) and ghideri (soaked dried corn and beans).

Peter, our driver
Peter, our driver
somali woman who had said "enough"
somali woman who had said "enough"
A Typical clinic scene
A Typical clinic scene
Jan 25, 2012

An Intimate Glimpse of On-The-Ground Work

House Visit
House Visit

Hello to all of our donors,

About a month ago, I was browsing the magazine section at the airport newsstand and was stopped by the front-page image of the Washington Post with headlines, “In Pakistan, family planning a hard sell.”

I was surprised to see an article of this nature on the front-page. It seems the birth of the world’s 7 billionth citizen, which I wrote to you about this past fall, has spurred interest on the particular topic.

It was an interesting and, at times, inspiring read for us at the clinic, inspiring because of the many similar goals, obstacles, and methods of employment that exist between community based health workers in Pakistan and our team on the ground in Kenya. It is often a comfort to know others are working alongside of you, albeit at a great distance, trying to accomplish the same goal. 

Both the public and private sectors of Pakistan are putting greater emphasis on family planning in order to curb the countries increasing population, prevent deaths during child-birth and to better lives for those who are born.  The principal means in which to achieve these goals is through the use of community based health workers.  “You have to do this community by community,” states one of the community workers on the ground in Pakistan.

I will attach a link to the article for those of you who are interested in the read.

I have also attached a video on the clinic, which I hope will give you an intimate glimpse into the work being done on the ground in Kenya. The woman featured is one of our dynamic community based health workers who devotes the majority of her time to mobilizing community members and educating individuals on what family planning actually means and how it can be of help to them and their children. 

 

We will be in touch in a few months. 

Lots of thanks, as always, 

The Team at CHAT

Links:

Jan 7, 2012

Happy 2012 from the Camels and Crew at CHAT

 

Hello Again to all of our generous donors and Happy New Year!

It is almost hard to believe that a year has gone by- a thought that runs through my head on the brink of almost every New Year nowadays…

Last January I remember writing to all of you about our inclusion in the ABC series, “Be the Chance to Save a Life” sponsored by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was a very proud moment for our clinic and our camels, both of whom are still tirelessly chugging along to meet the increasing demands of our communities.

The last quarter for the Community Health Africa Trust has been busier than usual. Apart from family health matters (including cases of malaria, pneumonia and tuberculosis, advice and treatment for HIV/AIDS), we are being asked ever more frequently for family planning advice and contraception.

We ran a month-long Camel Clinic between 24th September and 24th October, which went smoothly and achieved a great deal.

Our team has proven to be proficient in marketing and communications, alongside of treatment, tapping into local radio stations broadcast in the vernacular, and sending text messages through their mobile phones, informing communities of the clinics arrival. Now more and more people turn up for our clinics. And when the team arrives, they are now most often greeted by a long queue!

The camel clinic is never without its surprises- one example this month being a herd of elephants charging right at the procession. Luckily we have a very quick thinking driver who rightly placed his vehicle in between the upset eles and the Camel Caravan and the collision was thankfully thwarted.

While out visiting these communities, our staff pinpointed another urgent need and that is for more counsellors to give lectures to the Samburu and Turkana men in their tribal languages on the benefits of family planning. They still remain largely ignorant in this matter and most are keen to learn about it. This will ultimately help their women to apply for contraception. Nevertheless, women seem to courageously make decisions as they must, and seek contraception on their own, as they see fit.

On this month-long expedition, the team treated 660 women with the 5-year injection for contraception (JADELLE), while 96 women asked for the 3-month DEPO. CT had over 320 clients. Some cases of tuberculosis were noticed and were referred to their respective health centres and 309 to the Out Patient Department.

The trip was a great success, as they often prove to be, however, our team was not able to do as much as was required, due to lack of time and resources. 

The mobile team included 8 staff:  1 nurse, 2 counsellors and 1 family planning/CBD agent, as well as 4 handlers for the 8 camels.

The total cost to C.H.A.T. for this mobile clinic was US$4648.00.

As always, we thank you for your contributions. Our work is in many ways thanks to yours. We will be in touch in a few months time.

Lots of salaams, and Happy New Year to all of you,

 

The team at CHAT.

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